I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. In our home, it is a time of great company, abundant food and reflection, for we have much to give thanks for. I want to thank you for the support you've provided The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) this past year. You made it possible for LLS to provide supportive services, advocate for life-saving treatments and fund the most promising blood cancer research anywhere. Our investments in blood cancer research, from basic molecular studies, to translational research that moves promising work from the "bench to bedside" and collaborative projects that encourage work among researchers, are moving us toward our vision: a world without blood cancers. We are grateful for your past contributions and welcome your support now more than ever. Why now? We have started a list -- 12 reasons for you to support LLS in 2012:
1. Ease the fears and give hope to newly diagnosed patients by linking them with others who have been through the same diagnosis or treatment.
2. Extend remissions with a new immunotherapy for CLL patients for whom standard chemotherapies do not work.
3. Predict and prevent serious bone damage that can occur after lymphoid cancer patients receive high steroid doses. A clinical trial is already testing one prevention strategy in young ALL patients.
4. Advocate on behalf of blood cancer patients to ensure that oral anti-cancer medications are covered under the same "medical benefit" provision as injected drugs rather than the less generous "pharmacy benefit."
5. Complete a Phase III clinical trial initiated by Onconova Therapeutics, Inc. that could lead to the FDA-approval of a new targeted drug for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.
6. Continue investing in partnerships with commercial enterprises to move promising new therapies more quickly toward F.D.A. approval such as one currently being tested by Acetylon Pharmaceuticals for myeloma patients.
7. Develop state-of-the-art tests that measure the activities of various blood cancers, so that new therapies can be identified for patients with difficulty in responding to standard treatments.
8. Advance clinical testing for a new drug that inhibits a molecule involved in certain aggressive lymphomas as well as leukemias that are particularly difficult to cure.
9. Sustain an alliance with Epizyme and the development of a new targeted drug for patients with mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) against which today's standard therapies are largely ineffective.
10. Provide the most current, comprehensive disease information and treatment options to North Americans who receive the alarming news of a blood cancer diagnosis.
11. Ensure co-payment and financial assistance to patients who would be forced to choose between expensive treatments and essential needs when health insurance doesn't cover their therapies.
12. Partner on a clinical trial that advances a drug for B-cell leukemia and lymphoma patients that was originally developed for arthritis patients.
But this is just a start. Please donate today and share your reasons to give with the LLS community. Whether you are passionate about developing more, less toxic treatments that improve the quality of life for patients, or providing financial assistance that helps ease the burden during these tough economic times, your support will give help and hope to patients and their families.
Thank you for your generosity, John E. WalterPresident & CEO, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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